Dame Evelyn Glennie is quite a remarkable character so when we saw saw she was playing in Manchester with the jazz trio HLK, we tought we’d give it a go. Taking the kids was a bit of a risk but as Matty has taken up jazz piano, we thought why not. Walking into the concert hall Lee and I realised it was where we’d seen Ivor Cutler back in 1985. The large stage was full of bizarre looking percussion instruments along with a grand piano and an 8-string guitar (!). The band themselves described their work a ‘challenging’ to both play and listen to – which it was – but so refreshing to hear the fabric of music stretched to its limits. Pianist Richard Harrold is the man in charge arranging the jazz standards they play – deconstructed to the point of sounding nothing like the original. The drummer Richard Kass was amazing – one drum solo he did was mesmerising. Guitarist Ant Law said “As we’re in a music college, I should explain that he was at one point there playing 4 different time signiatures at the same time”. Evelyn Glennie did a solo on a round UFO-looking instrument “none of their music is in 4/4 time so I wrote this one in 4/4 time all the way through”. Thankfully, all 3 kids thought it was great….odd….but great.
Bob the Chiropodist